“Happiness depends on what you can give, not on what you can get.”
OM Run, hosted by Chinmaya Mission San Jose (CMSJ) since 2009, an idea inspired by Swami Bodhatmanandaji is one such opportunity where people of all walks and ages come together to set up a mela and a run of 5K, 10K, and half marathon distances. This year, about 250 volunteers gave their time and energy to make this a successful family-friendly fun-filled day of activities.
The runners taking part in this event were in safe hands as Om Run has some incredible running coaches who have impeccable running records. One of them who trains children, has run a marathon in all the seven continents, and another runner who helps coach adult runners has completed more than 50 full marathons and is still counting on completing more!
Weekday group training sessions were held in San Jose, Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, San Mateo, Fremont, and Sunnyvale. Weekend training sessions took place in San Jose, Fremont, San Ramon, and San Mateo locations. Experts conducted a shoe clinic, and a nutrition and hydration clinic for the runners registered for the OM Run. During the race, there were mile markers that kept the momentum going for the runners as each of them had inspirational quotes by Swami Chinmayananda that provided food for thought as the runners continued to jog towards their goal of completing 5k, 10k or half marathon runs. Amidst the many adults, and children, this year Om Run had a 90 year old complete a 5K at this year’s event: such an inspiration!
There was a fast-paced Bombay Jam workout for the participants before the run. They marked the route with bib color matched direction arrows to guide the runners. Besides the above, there was a large outdoor fair with live music, a petting zoo, face painting, games such as Mallakhamba, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, and archery followed by prizes for raffle ticket holders.
Sponsorships from around the world helped offset costs of hosting the event. The Media Partners were 92.3FM, India Currents, India Post, and Sitara TV.
Funds raised from OM Run go to several seva projects to support activities in India through projects like CORD (Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development), and the American Red Cross. Some funds also go to CMSJ (Chinmaya Mission San Jose) where they continue to provide seva opportunities and services in the Bay Area.
Chinmaya Mission Worldwide has applauded the success of this event, and some centers are looking into replicating OM Run in their cities. As Swami Bodhatmanandaji says, “Everyone runs after things in life, but those who run for OM attain the Supreme!”
Notes from participants this year:
“On multiple occasions, strangers who watch me cooling down after a run marvel, “Where did you learn those cool down exercises? They are really good!” Each time, I reply with gratitude, “Om Run “
Adult runner, Ananda Rajagopal
“I enjoyed training every weekend and receiving the treats afterwards. Most of all I enjoyed beating my Dad on race day! We are continuing to train every weekend to get an early start for a 10k during Om Run 2020.”
9 year old Neel